On March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez was departing Valdez, Alaska, with a full load of about 1.25 million barrels of North Slope crude oil when it grounded in Prince William Sound, resulting in an oil spill of about one-fifth of its contents.
Public alarm over the spill led to enactment of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which mandated double hulls for new tankers (Valdez was a single-hulled vessel), response plans, and a number of other remedial measures.
The anniversary is getting extensive coverage by the media.
Click here for a science and policy-based story from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, which was formed to oversee restoration of the injured ecosystem through the use of the $900 million civil settlement.
The Exxon Valdez was sold and is likely destined for scrap heap. Click here for that story.
In related news, National Geographic pinned the Valdez anniversary to a story on how the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil platform spill in the Gulf of Mexico is still affecting the Gulf shoreline.